S/Sgt Ray E. Zapalac (my husband's first cousin and who he was named after) was a tail gunner on a Liberator (B-24J) bomber during World War II and was awarded the Air Medal, Distinguished Flying Cross and an Oak Leaf cluster in recognition of extraordinary performance during a bombing mission in the Orient while stationed in India. Ray died during WWII.
(Zapalac was a gunner on B-24J #42-73189, assigned to the 10th Air Force, 7th Bombardment Group, 492nd Bombardment Squadron. They were flying a cargo of gasoline from Kurmitola India to Kunming China when they had an engine failure and fuel leaking inside the airplane. so the pilot ordered the crew to bail out. Three men made it to the ground safely, Zapalac and two others were killed.) Service No. 18158418
He had lived in Robstown, Tx and was a resident of Victoria, Tx before entering the service. He was survived by his parents Agnes and Victor J. Zapalac and his sister Virginia.
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